Monday, November 30, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 5 miles

Now that it gets dark at 5pm, any after-work run requires my arsenal of night running gear. The combination of head lamp, reflective strap across my chest and the recent addition of compression leg sleeves make for an interesting outfit. The look on my cat's puzzled face said it all - I resembled a goalie/coal miner/crossing guard. But with the end of November, has come moderate beautiful evenings so that the temperature, at least, is not any kind of challenge. It's rather perfect. But running solo is not as fun as running in a group. So I'm considering doing more group or buddy runs during the week. Two sets of reflective outfits is always better than one.

Happy running!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

10 Miles and hills!

After 2 weeks of not feeling so well, it was great to rejoin the leggers this morning for a 10 mile run with hills up north to Temescal canyon and down Sunset. Thanks to mentor Glenn who helped me on that hill! After not running that long for a while, it felt great and reminded me why I love the sport! Also saw the Gobble Wobble runners at the Turkey Trot. Nice job!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Running the Universal Back Lot

Just found a race that winds through the Universal Studio Backlot. How cool is that? The race is the 9th Annual Say No to Drugs 5k/10k on Sunday, December 13. Check out more info at their website:

Runner's Almanac - Turkey Trots

With Thanskgiving approaching, consider signing up for a Turkey Trot. Eat a lot, and run a lot! Here are two local Los Angeles area turkey trots to consider:

Thursday, November 26:
The Trail Runner's Club hosts it's annual Turkey Trot early thanksgiving morning. Looks like the trail is about 9.5 miles long and registration is free. Here is the flyer.

Saturday, November 28:
Santa Monica Gobble Wobble. An inaugural turkey trot in Santa Monica. This run is partnered with the Westside Food Bank - Bring a can of food that day. Registration is about $35. Here is the website.

PLUS Dress up like a turkey! You know you want to.

Happy running!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New LA Marathon Course - Downtown not Sacrificed

On Monday, the new LA Marathon course was revealed at 6:00am to eager people like me who were counting the days for this to finally happen. I followed the online map provided by the LA Marathon website, and was very happy to see that the course, although starting at Dodger's Stadium, backtracks a bit into Downtown before continuing westward. I very much enjoyed the downtown portion of the LA Marathon and was disappointed that in looked like Downtown would be scrapped all together. So I am glad that it is represented at all. The course continues west, largely along major thoroughfares like Sunset and Wilshire, but there are some interesting twists here and there as well. I'm curious to see how all these major streets will be shut down that day. The course goes through Beverly Hills and right up Wilshire in front of the high-end luxury department stores Saks, Barneys and Neiman Marcus. I'm guessing that all the permits were required, so any disgruntled shopper will just have to suck it up that day.

So the course looks good!

See you in March...Happy running!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Runner's Almanac - A long walk and WeSpark 5k/10k

What a foggy day it was early this morning as I navigated around Lake Balboa in search of the starting line for WeSpark's Inaugural 5k/10k race. I was out to promote the Northridge Hospital's Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS) Victory for Victims Run set to take place in April 2010. I ran into a lady promoting an other charity run taking place next week in Los Angeles called Run For Her, in support of Ovarian Cancer Research. Coincidentally, today is World Run Day. But since I did my long run yesterday, I figured that counted for me.

Lake Balboa is like a little godsend in the Valley. I did my part promoting the event, and then gave my mom a call and we spent about 40 minutes walking around the lake. My legs don't feel tired from yesterday, which is good. For anyone who did run today, hope you had a good one!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 18 miles

I had been trying to mentally prepare for today's 18 mile run, including hydrating the day before and getting some good protein in. Aside from getting to sleep early though, my mental preparation wasn't at the level I had hoped for. When I got to the starting line today, it didn't feel like I was about to run 18 miles. Maybe that's a good thing. Since daylight savings had ended, it wasn't dark this morning at 6:00am, but it was cold, and it remained cold for much of the morning. Our first three miles felt pretty great, and our mentors kept us at pace, if not a little below. I became fast friends with my running buddy next to me, and I commiserated with him over the fact his iPod was acting all funny and he wasn't able to listen to the songs he had meticulously chosen the night before for today's run. Eventually, his iPod did work. When I turned my iPod on around mile 5, I was happy to have it, but about 4 or 5 miles later it went kaput. That was ok, I'm happy to run with the playlist in my head. At one point, a girl behind me was singing the lyrics to a song she was listening to, so that was enjoyable as well.

We ran through Santa Monica and into Venice and continued South to Marina del Rey. We navigated past the Cheescake Factory at Mother's Beach, and past the Ritz Carlton, where sadly, no one was outside eating pancakes over which I could salivate. We then went further into the Marina and made it just till Fisherman's village, when we had to turn around. On our back, unfortunately, my running buddy took a nasty fall and when I turned around to see what happened, I saw he had stumbled in a narrow passageway between the parkinglot and the street. When he got up his finger was bleeding badly, and he mentioned that he was afraid he had broken it, after recently recuperating from breaking it just recently. I gave him a sanitzed wipey I carried with myself and a gulp of my water for his cut. One of our helpers, Larissa, stayed behind with him. I felt aweful. Especially, since he had mentioned his wife was recovering from a running fall of her own. Hope he got better and will see him next week.

There is a point during these long runs when we seem to lose people. By the time we got to mile 17, the group seemed to dwindle a bit, and there was a point when we were less than a mile a way, when my right knee was bothering me. I thought of stopping and walking the rest as well. But I stuck it out, and after that incline from the Pier back up to Ocean, it was a good feeling to be done with the run.

The hardest part today, aside from my partner's injury, was working on my mental stamina. My body was able to do it - It was mind that I was working on. Running, even in a group, can be very singular. It's just you out there on the road.

I got home and immediately drank some post-run chocolate milk, recommended after a long session. Then the aches and pains started to settle in. All morning 18 miler, 3 hours and 40 minutes. Now I am catching up on some tv.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 4.8 miles tempo +hill

This end to daylight savings is great so far. I wake up at 5:00am, and it sure is easier than how waking up at 5:00am used to feel. Put on my new Zensah leg sleeves, gloves, and even my reflection belt that I wrap diagonally around my upper body. The combination makes me look like a soccer goalie. I open the back door to see how dark it really is. It's 5:30am and although dawn has not hit, the sky isn't dark - more of a dark blue. I take off the reflective gear and head out. I do a tempo run today, with a regular to comfortable pace for the first 15 minutes and then I take it up a notch for the next 15. I decide to veer on a rather long hill, probably about 300 m. The view from the top is beautiful. Now that dark has changed to dawn, I'm really glad I came up this hill, despite that brief swallow of nausea. I jog back down, passing a woman doing hill repeats in the middle of the road, and complete just under 5 miles for today.

I liked the Zensah sleeves. The compression isn't too tight to make it uncomfortable and it adds some warmth on a cold morning. With 18 miles scheduled on Saturday, I may just get in a couple miles in on Thursday this week and that's it.

Congratulations to all who finished the New York Marathon. And congrats to men's winner and UCLA alum Meb Keflezighi!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 4 miles and Compression socks

So although I don't normally run after our long runs on Saturdays, I felt that 8 miles isn't really so bad and did a quick 4 miler this morning. Besides, the fact that day light savings has caused us to turn our clocks back an hour, means that running in the morning is just that much easier. 7:00am is no longer cold and potentially gloomy, but sunny and even warm! After the run, I met my friend Adam for our latest Yoga adventure at Yogaco in Santa Monica. All in all, I enjoyed it, although some of the poses are harder for me than others. Really, what is the purpose of a three-legged chair anyway? Donations are suggested, so pay as much or as little as you'd like. The class was suprisingly small for a Sunday class, but the Yogaco space in general is huge. It's on the third floor above the Anthropologie store on 3rd Street.

Today marked my first day participating in National Novel Writing Month. I wrote 5052 words on day 1 for my pending 50,000 word novel to be completed by the end of the month. Hope it won't interfere with running. Interested? Sign up at the NaNoWrMo website. I also made a stop today at Phidippides in Encino in search of compression socks. I bought the Zensah brand compression leg sleeves used for increasing oxygen flow to the lower leg and aiding in recovery. I may even use them during one of my runs. They aren't super fit, but snug enough that it left a small imprint when I took them off. I was tempted to get the matching arm sleeves to warm me up during cold days, but the weather was about 80 degrees today. That'll be next on my list once it really starts cooling up.

Happy running!